Tropical home decor in 5 easy steps

Gabriela Cartaya

Five simple steps to achieve a beautiful tropical home decor!

Exotic landscapes, sunny days, white-sand beaches, rhythms, colors… All these images merge into one when you think about any tropical destination, especially the Caribbean and coastal cities in Latin America.

So why wait until vacation season when you can take your favorite elements and create a private tropical paradise? Have fun doing it by following these simple decor guidelines.

Pick a theme

The first thing to do is study the general style of the place: is it traditional, industrial or minimalist? Then select your tropical subject. Look for inspiration in native flowers, plants, wildlife, sunsets, handmade paintings, festivals, dishes, spices and so on! A brainstorm will help you choose fabrics and accessories, as well as for setting the whole vibe of the rooms.

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Tones and textures

To achieve a tropical home decor there are some basics to consider, like color! Warm, rich hues –in particular, oranges, yellows, shades of red, blue, green, toasted browns or gold– are great to evoke the tropical hues of islands and rainforests.  

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Painting a background wall or installing graphic wallpaper is an easy solution to energize the space. Furniture is next, so go for pieces made of wood –mainly teak or bamboo– that have a slight rustic effect. Woven textiles and vegetable fibers such as raffia, palms, straw and organic cotton threads are other materials that add interesting textures to your tropical home decor.

Pop-up pieces

Home decor accessories are not only beautiful objects; they bring a room to life with little effort. Start in the kitchen by mixing eco-friendly handmade placemats with coasters and colored glasses to set a tropical-style table. Make a centerpiece for the living room using dark wooden bowls and some colorful calabash fruits.  

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For the entrance or library you can design a gallery wall; just hang a few decorative items with artsy leaves, birds or fishes painted on them. In the bathroom, change the shower curtains and combine them with colored towels. Besides the linen, place a knitted coverlet on your bed, along with some really bold-printed cushions to remind you of tropical lands.

Have a bare wall? Try designing a beautiful vignette with all your favorite tropical items from your travels or bucket list.

Style tip: While decorating, remember to keep everything cohesive. For example, if the theme for your tropical home decor is feathers from exotic birds, use them in floral arrangements, frame the most delicate ones and display them like pictures on the walls or in a coffee table, nightstand or desk.

Wanderlust

This word refers to the desire and enjoyment of “letting go” during travels, an idea that can infuse your home decor with tropical twists too! Natural elements –plants, fruits and flowers– and scents like coconut, pineapple or mango are keys for enjoying a luscious sensorial experience.

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Additional tropical home decor tips

  • Rush mats, colorful raffia baskets, and tapestries are both functional and original tropical crafts that will look modern thanks to their uniqueness.
  • Stoneware pots or lanterns and clay tiles are ideal when remodeling a small patio or garden.
  • Hand-painted items like lazy Susans, placemats, honeypots or utensil sets with tropical motifs can bring the lushness of the Tropic to your home.

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Give your house a makeover and feel like you’re far away in a tropical, but so-very-homey place!